Expeditions is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to promoting anthropological research and the broader field of social sciences. We do this by:
  • building on a multi-disciplinary network of researchers and research groups
  • offering consultancy and studies for external partners
  • providing hands-on training programs in fieldwork methods
  • creating opportunities for budding researchers to apply their trade and develop professional careers.

Mission Statement

Expeditions, research in Applied Anthropology was founded in 1996 by Marc Vanlangendonck as a research group offering anthropological fieldwork studies while providing opportunities for young scientists to apply their trades.

As the group matured, it developed into an independent and international network of social science scholars with a passion for ethnographic fieldwork methods. Today, the network serves as a worldwide platform for collaborative and applied research projects, training programs and consultancy in the broad field of social sciences including anthropology, sociology, education, social geography and planning.

Our interdisciplinary team offers socially engaged applied research, consultancy, training and design from an anthropological perspective. We are convinced that uur ethnographic focus holds the key to many of the more fundamental questions of contemporary life. We apply a no-nonsense approach: clear, firm and efficient. Our teams are flexible and dynamic: from sunrise to sunset, from sunset to sunrise. And we do love challenges.
Being a non-profit organization means that seeking profit is never a goal in itself, nor do individuals in the organization personally benefit from any profits generated. Instead, the surplus of revenues is invested in furthering our core objectives and ensuring the organization's continuity. A lot of our work is volunteer-based, the official minimum wages apply to all paid positions, and overhead expenditures are minimized. We find it important to maintain financial independency in order to remain accountable towards our partners and true to our mission. Therefore, we will not accept any structural means that influence how we define our mission or pursue our goals. Received donations, project subsidies and temporary funding will be transparently made public on our website.

The way we work

The Expeditions approach is based on methods and tools to understand culturally based needs, values, perceptions, beliefs, knowledge, models and reasons for behaviour – and to use these for designing change. Our approach is aimed at an in depth understanding of social phenomena by studying them in their context. Any research question is thus conceptualised as part of an ethnographic field. Studying phenomena from within this field, improves empathic understanding of the actors involved, the cultural conditions to be modified or influenced, and human responses to both.

Based on ethnographic theory and methods we use and provide systematic sampling procedures adapted to the dynamics of (sub-) cultures and complex systems. Ethnographic data, perspectives, theory and methods are used to identify, assess and solve social problems. The strength of applied anthropology is however that the approach is not wedded to specific designs and instruments, but to interdisciplinary inquiry, exploration and discovery that guides the most effective selection of theory, methods and data-collection techniques for a given situation. A variety of techniques for adequate sampling, analysis, representation and testing are hence applied in adjustable combinations.

From this perspective, Expeditions has carried out international and national research projects in the range of policy recommendations and evaluation research, advocacy, cultural intervention and participatory action research.